Add 3 Cups of Water. Simmer For 15 Miles. Stir to Taste

Beer is NOT water, by the way…unless it’s after a workout.

Hydration is a human necessity that is so fundamental that it boggles me when I hear about the latest person suffering from heatstroke.  Thank God that the latest heat wave that struck us has passed.

Now that the summer season is nearing its end, it seems almost redundant to post this, but hydrating during training is something that still remains perfectly relevant even in this cooler (relatively speaking…it’s still fucking hot) climate.

Brooks posted this shameless promotion great list of tips that should be key during the midway phase of marathon season.  Get your fuel belts and water bottles full, you crazy bastards!  Nothing’s worse than dying passing out and waking up in Heaven Hell nonexistence the hospital because of something as mundane as not having enough water!

Measure Your Sweat

Each runner needs to be treated as an individual, but there are some averages, such as sodium loss per liter, that will be useful in putting a hydration plan together.  Check out this simple test which can help you better understand your sweat rates and sodium losses:

1.  Weigh yourself before and after a run without clothes on. For most people, losing two or more pounds is too much. Keep in mind that a 2% dehydration or more impacts performance. A loss of 5% and greater can become very dangerous. For a 150-pound runner, this is a 3 pound loss for 2% dehydration and a 7.5 pound loss for 5%. To determine your sweat rate, perform a sweat test:

  • Take your “no clothing” body weight before a one-hour moderate intensity bike or run.
  • Record the amount of liquid consumed during workout, and weigh yourself again after the workout.
  • Calculate the weight change and remember to add in the amount of liquid consumed during the workout.
  • Every pound is equal to 16 oz of fluid.

2.  Are your training clothes suddenly white after a workout? Does your face and body feel “crusty?” Have you had muscle cramping in hot weather? If so, then you probably have a higher concentration of sodium in your sweat relative to the “average” person.

  • Average sweat rate is typically 1 – 1.5L of fluid per hour (32 – 48oz), and 1,000 – 1,500mg of sodium per hour while running (a bit less when cycling).
  • Sweat rate will depend on several factors including environmental conditions (temperature, humidity), genetics, and the athletic conditioning of the athlete (use the sweat test above to help you cue in to your specifics).
  • Most people’s sweat contains about 500mg of sodium per 16oz. Very salty sweaters can have up to 1,200mg per 16oz of sweat.

Understanding where you may fall on the sodium concentration scale, combined with understanding your fluid losses can help better estimate your sodium needs during training and racing. For example, if your sweat rate was determined to be 32oz/hour, and you estimate your sodium loss to be 500mg/16oz, your sodium need is 1,000mg/hour.

Most athletes vastly underestimate their sodium needs. Those who have experienced the sloshy gut or muscle cramping likely fall into this category! Consider sodium supplements and fueling products that contain more sodium than most products in addition to electrolyte replacement beverages.
You can read more from the article here for other tips.  Haven’t measured my sweat yet.  Will have to check this out.

Another suggestion: Hammer Nutrition has some seriously awesome multivitamins, powders, and gels that can stave back fatigue, cramps, and dehydration.  I’ve been using Endurolytes, but they have a ton of other helpful nutrition that you should check out.